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Kiting at the Hatchery?
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jdDropout



Joined: 23 May 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After receiving an email from one of my kiter buddies, believe it or not, I have a lot of friends that kite, linking some posts regarding the issue on NW Kite Forum and being yelled at by one of the regular hatch kiters while I tried to explain the situation at the yesterday, this is all that I'm going to say on the situation.

From NW Kite Forum, posted by Pepi:

"The shaking of the beehive : 
Yesterday before we passed through the Hatch - there apparently had been some out of town pro kiters up at the hatch boosting and wiping out big time and having to spend a lot of time body dragging to get to their boards. It was mainly 2 guys showboating right in front 

The bee sting : 
Also, from some windsurf friends that usually used to invite me to kite around them while they windsurf at the Hatch, they have now grown a bit tired of the kiters showboating in front of the Hatch. Especially one person, a guy with a blonde pony tail has outwardly declared war, or his form of it, against kiters by regularly going out of his way after any kiters who come near the Hatch. 
He used to work at a local shop I believe.

More info, but not anything that really makes anything any better, just more identifiable yet, still uncontrollable."

Here's the story:

I got back from a surf trip to the coast with one of my buddies that kites and on Sunday afternoon.  He kited the newport south jetty, while I surfed the left. Probably 15 kiters out, they gave me priority on all the lefts. Never had an issue, was actually thinking that maybe I would try kiting sometime this summer. It was great weekend of mellow coast surfing and for him kiting.  Sunday, I got back to Hood River and was able to sail a session at the Hatch.  While attempting a backloop, I looked to spot my landing and there was a kiter underneath me.  No idea who it was.  I crashed and he popped his head up and apologized.  I'm pissed but let it slide.

Monday, it's windy.  I go sail the Hatch with my friends.  BMP, Rob, Nick, and I all have narrow misses with the same kiter in the same session.  He was not one of the Hatch regulars, don't know who it was.  We are starting to get pissed.  While about to launch for my second session, I see what is probably an experienced kiter, having his wife with his small daughter watching, launching a kite from the point, giving her directions, quite obvious that it was the first time she launched a kite.  Not cool on the windiest most crowded day in weeks.  Right on the point of the Hatchery, the most fucking crowded spot on the river.

During the second session, while in the air attempting a port backloop on the last ramp near the point, a different kiter on a directional wiped out underneath me, while I'm in the air.  That's the second time in two days.  He pokes out his head and says, "Oh I'm sorry dude."  Great, sorry, sorry that for the second time in two days, I almost destroy 3k in gear, get hurt, and hurt someone else.  I bitch him out and he does the smart thing and leaves.  Now I'm starting to lose it.  A few minutes earlier the same thing happened BMP.  We are in the parking lot after sailing and begin talking about how someone is going to get fucking hurt if this continues.

Tuesday, it's windy.  I go sail the Hatch with my friends.  While jumping off the last port ramp, a kiter with probably his head down watching the swell, kites underneath me, I literally have to avoid his lines in the air.  I crash and he pops up within reaching distance of me and says, "Oh, sorry dude, nice air."  I fucking lose it.  Strike 3. 3 days, 3 times a kiter, kites underneath me while I'm in the air.  Not cool.  

I'm not policing shit.  I'm not a good windsurfer, and I know I suck.  The only reason I'm out sailing in the Gorge is to stay in shape and work on new moves.  I didn't sail the point for my first 2 summers in the Gorge.  I waited until I could at least sail well enough and know enough about the rest of the people to stay out of the better sailors and kiters way. I sure as hell know that if someone is lining up a ramp, to GET OUT OF THE WAY. Seriously, would you want Dale to land his fin on your head? That's called death.

There's a saying in surfing, you surf on the beach for a long time before you surf in the water.  You learn the conditions, the currents, the wave, and most importantly the line up.  Piss off the wrong person with a facial tattoo and a swastika on his board, you get your ass kicked.  Drop in on the wrong person, you get your ass kicked. Talk to the wrong person you get your ass kicked. The nice thing about windsports is that we are all kooks. No surfers respect us and no one probably ever will. It's cool watching Ben Wilson or JP at Cloudbreak but it will never be as sweet as a surfer getting pitted. It is the lack of an established authority as to priority which is creating priority. Yelling starboard at the point doesn't do shit.

I have ton of respect for the old gorge crew that switched to kiting, West, Brad, Zach, Rex, Tricky Ricky, Colin, Sgt. Loop, Brave Dave, Johnny, A-Train, and many others. As I tried to explain to one of them yesterday, this isn't about them.  I've sailed among them enough, to know that they can handle themselves.  I know they don't kite underneath people in the air.

Here's my issue with situation at the point.  Wyatt, Tyson, BMP, Casey, Russell the Love Muscle, Nick, Rob, JP, and all the rest of the point sailors all sail at a very high level.  They sail the Gorge for a few months in the summer because it's fucking fun to sail with your best friends.  They use this as a training ground for bigger and better things in the winter.  The Gorge has no natural consequences for developing a higher skill level.  You crash, so what, you're not going to get pounded by a double mast high set, lose all your shit, almost drown, and have to walk down the street barefoot puking up saltwater, seeing unicorns and rainbows because you had to hold onto the reef while taking a 8 wave set on the head.

The only real way to get hurt or fucking die, is a collision with another river user, kiter, sup, fishing boat, barge, fishing net, windsurfer, floating logs, ect.  To all the kiters that I screamed at.  When was the last time you kited the event site, and three days in a row jumped and a windsurfer sailed and dropped his equipment directly underneath you while you're in the air?  Was it guilt by association, yes.  Did I wrongly yell at some innocents, yes.  Apologies.

For windsurfers, kiters, and everyone else, if it's a crowded windy day at the hatchery and there are ramps.  Please give people space.  If you've ever been hit by a surfboard, windsurfer, or tangled in kite lines you know that it's going to fuck you up.  Fins slice deep, hospital bills are expensive, cancelled surf and windsurf trips due to injuries suck.  

Final rant on some of the posts from the kite forum.  For the individual that made the racial comment regarding my hair and my lost Jack Johnson CD.  Jack Johnson is a no talent ass clown as a muscian but one bad ass surfer before he got hurt.  As for my hair, GROW IT WHILE YOU GOT IT.

For the individual that suggested filing a small claims case against windsurfers that yell at kiteboarders.  You are going to have serious issues with both personal and subject matter jurisdiction, as well as a continued venue problem.  Maritime law falls under the sole jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal courts, especially on interstate waterways, and for you to bring a claim there must be a minimum of 75k in damages.  I highly doubt that you're intelligent enough to be able to locate the paperwork much less be able to pick the appropriate forum in which to pursue the action, any claim would be considered a frivolous action most likely resulting in award of fees and costs to defense.  If this is a path you would like to pursue,  I would reccomend that you file sooner than later and send service and process within 30 days.  I can always use some fast cash, and I doubt that you would like me to place a lien on your kiteboard, vehicle, home, and paycheck {if you actually get one.}

Enough is enough, just give people space so no one gets hurt.  Summer is almost over and we can all go back to our uncrowded zen lifestyle in warmer waters soon enough.

Why are we still using forums?  This is the most arcane way of communicating.  Someone develop a website where you can easily post pictures, communicate with other river users, and sell the advertising space.

Ponytail Pete
J.R.
Whatever else you want to call me.

Josh feel free to post this to the kite forum.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20770

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdDropout wrote:
For the individual that suggested filing a small claims case against windsurfers that yell at kiteboarders.

Hilarious; I didn't see that one. In the decades I've sailed the Hatchery, I've heard someone yell only twice. I guess those noisy ProTech helmets serve more than their two most obvious functions (protecting our head/face from impact and uv and making us look like dorks).
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jpeskin



Joined: 12 Apr 2000
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete, now that you have explained in excessive detail why you have a right to be angry at a few specific kiters, why don't you answer the one question that everyone actually cares about:

Why do you think you have the right to harass respectful kiters (or windsurfers) who don't get in the way of others?

If you think your attitude and approach is helping to discourage kiters from encroaching on windsurfing access, think again: As a former (and still occasional windsurfer), I'm someone who has never advocated increased kiting access or decreased windsurfing access (e.g. Event Site, Hatch, etc). I stay clear of the prime windsurfing spots at the Hatch, Dougs, Wall, Arlington, out of respect.

Your aggressive attitude towards considerate kiters makes me reconsider my previously respectful stance, and makes me want to advocate for equal access at these spots.

Out of respect for all the good windsurfers I know are out there, I doubt I'd act on that change in feeling, but the point is your actions have had the opposite of their intended effect on me (and who knows how many others).
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SlightlySalty



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what a bunch of grumpy old (and young) windsurfers!!This sort of stuff cracks me up! Razz
It's survivaloif the fittest my friends. The dorks will eventually quit, leave of just get vibed out. So a couple folks had some close calls, go up wind dudes or go down wind dudes. We can all get away from those we don't want to sail around so easily, just do it.
I like to sail right in front sometimes but when it's too crowed it gets choppy and I'll sail upwind. There's so much river. I like to sail around the kiters and give them a little stoke if they're ripping. I can pick out the ones you need to be careful of in about 1 minute and they disappear real quick. Most of the kiters are good up there and they just want to have fun just like us. We don't own the place and those that act like they do spend waaay too much time on the beach.
I suppose everyone loses it at some point but when you do you ought to appoligize and get on with it. Ponytail Pete is a good guy, young dude and still learning but overall a good young dude. Nice of him to take the time to tell his version.
I have fun sailing with the kiters, I know most of them and love to share swells etc with them. However with any kiter, I just make sure I'm not straight down wind from them for more than just a passing.

To all the grumpy people, kiters, windsurfers or those that don't like the big rigs parked there. You guys ought to go home cause no one needs this at the beach. No one goes down there to be harrassed and if there's one thing that we should really get rid of are the harassers. There's a few of them down there and guess what, they spend a lot of time on the beach. Much more than the water. No wonder they are so grumpy!! Rolling Eyes
Oh and I sail better than all the grumpy people and I've sailed there longer. So there! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
Attitude is Everything!!
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SlightlySalty



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpeskin wrote:
Pete, now that you have explained in excessive detail why you have a right to be angry at a few specific kiters, why don't you answer the one question that everyone actually cares about:

Why do you think you have the right to harass respectful kiters (or windsurfers) who don't get in the way of others?

If you think your attitude and approach is helping to discourage kiters from encroaching on windsurfing access, think again: As a former (and still occasional windsurfer), I'm someone who has never advocated increased kiting access or decreased windsurfing access (e.g. Event Site, Hatch, etc). I stay clear of the prime windsurfing spots at the Hatch, Dougs, Wall, Arlington, out of respect.

Your aggressive attitude towards considerate kiters makes me reconsider my previously respectful stance, and makes me want to advocate for equal access at these spots.

Out of respect for all the good windsurfers I know are out there, I doubt I'd act on that change in feeling, but the point is your actions have had the opposite of their intended effect on me (and who knows how many others).


Remeber, Pete is a young dude. He's a good dude but he's still learning....He'll be ok, you'll be ok and we'll all be ok.
Time to go sailing. Wink
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columbia



Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Ever ridden a scooter in Manhattan with no traffic lights? Reply with quote

With the speeds of windsurfers and kiters – things happen fast. Kiters lofting big air are fun to watch but it’s dangerous as hell with the numbers of sailors traversing Kodak Point and the Cove this time of year. Tuesday I watched a kiter weave his way downwind through 30-40 sailors at the Cove and was amazed someone wasn’t clobbered (some sailing and kiting skill was required by all but I have to believe there was some luck involved). Once again, the speed on the big days is a factor and will likely be a factor when someone gets hurt – it will happen. Not if – when.

Tuesday I saw two close calls when two sailors had the tops of their masts hit by kite lines – name calling pursued, but eventually cooler heads prevailed and I think both parties apologized to each other. Having said this – I don’t mind sailing with most kiters – we hoot and holler FOR each other after riding big swell – what irks me are the kiters that make their way up to the Hatch and don’t have the skill level to be there. As other posters have noted – the consequences are much more dramatic when things head south especially when kiting in crowded venues.

Not sure there’s an easy answer to the kiter vs windsurfer dilemma other than to separate the two before someone gets hurt. With the White Salmon bridge flows changing and the swell being almost nonexistent there’s going to be more not fewer kiters at the Hatch – that’s a given. And kiters are going to boost big air and kiters are going to try to squander swell – I would and do so myself whenever possible. I enjoy watching kiters play but on the big days something has to give. Of course if common sense could prevail we’d be fine but we all know how uncommon that is.

BTW - Sailors can be dangerous and discourteous also. Monday I had the closest call ever. An out-of-towner – was on a starboard tack and picking up speed fast (really fast) heading straight for me. I’m not planing and watching dude continue to rocket toward me (it was like I had cross-hairs on my forehead). Inches separated the two of us as he shot by. I yelled at him and later mentioned the incident when I spotted him coming in to the beach. Dude indicated that he had the right of way because of the starboard tack. I mentioned the fact that I wasn’t planing and he responded by yelling starboard (again) just to make sure I heard him. Dude realized he was being closely watched by many onlookers on the beach (and that he was wrong) and wisely threw out an unconvincing apology. I can feel for Peter and his kiter incident(s) – I know how he feels. I have to say it’s the first time I’ve been so riled while sailing. A simple “sorry” at the time of the incident would’ve helped.

To add fuel to the fire – in my episode, the two of us (windsurfers) could’ve been hurt if we’d collided (likely just me). If we switch things around and it’s a sailor and kiter colliding– one doing mach ten the other not – what are the consequences? What if the result is a kite careening down on a busy Hatch day? Does the kite take out/injure other sailors/kiters? Are the potential injuries more severe? If I take a bad spill on my windsurfer it is unlikely to injure or impact others around me. Can we assume the same with a major kite issue or malfunction on a big/busy Hatch day?

This kiter vs windsurfer dilemma makes me think of someone on a scooter traversing Manhattan rush hour during a power outage with the traffic lights out. They know things just got decidedly more dangerous and strapping their helmet on a little tighter doesn’t make them feel any safer.
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trburl



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Straight up, Columbia!

I think Pete has a simple new moniker, Pistol Pete. 'Cause that boy is NOT afraid to draw when his safety is threatened, which it clearly was, repeatedly. Once, OK, but after a few of those in 36 hours, of which I saw one, most windsurfers with a set, are gonna get pissed.

I know a couple other sailors just like Pete.

So, whats the protocol? 10 sailors out, 4.7 or better, no kiting from the Point to the Cove 300 yards from the Washington side? Is this 10 sailor rule already in effect, just not enforced? What's the deallio?

We need a hard and fast rule, and not just to keep sailors like Pete and myself (Tom Burlingame) in line during the summer of 2012, but to set a precedent for the growth and resource conflict that is sure to increase as Hood River and White Salmon absorb more people, whom, consequently, are probably moving to either town, to escape crowds.........

Maui dealt with it, it's not a new issue. So why pretend that it's unique to the Hatchery?
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dangerd



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 39
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad

Last edited by dangerd on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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willysurf



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't jet skis get officially banned from riding int the swell at the Hatchery years ago because they were creating a hazard on crowded days? If true, it seems like the same regulation could easily be applied to kites as they are just as dangerous and incompatible with windsurfing (not too mention lame). Seems reasonable to apply this ban to all congested swell riding spots like the Hatch, Swell, Doug's, The Wall, and Arlington. I'm going to ask my friends on the board at CGWA to see if we can push this through.
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Gorgekiteboy



Joined: 05 Apr 2000
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject: Kiting at the Hatch Reply with quote

This is one entertaining thread of commentary! Perhaps we need a one day on, one day off policy? One big day kiters get the Hatch, next big day Windsurfers get it. Nope...probably would not work if I miss my day due another committment. Hmmmm what to do.

Perhaps a closed course with only a limited number of folks allowed on the water at one time? Kinda like ski racing.

No one has any more or less right to use the river than anyone else. Let's be graceful and remember that. Take turns.

As a boater, as well as a Windsurfer(probably not much longer), and Kiter, it is my responsibility to avoid collisions.
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